Where are those friendly faces we saw during Winter Olympic Games?

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It was that historical moment in Winter Olympics Games. You enjoyed the super green environment. You missed those friendly smiles. You fell in love with the city. Now you want to move to Vancouver. Hold your thoughts!

If you are moving to Vancouver, you may want to live close to your work so that you can walk. There is a slim chance you can get to a place less than 15 minutes. You maybe able to see the parking lot in 15 minutes. But good luck finding a parking spot. You are considering taking the sky train to down town Vancouver. Think twice.

It was a long labor day weekend. My mother wanted to explore sky train with us to the Taiwan Festival in down town Vancouver.

My mother’s friend told her that she could use her bus tickets to take sky train. So my brother and I bought the tickets from the vending machine that couldn’t read credit cards properly and the multiple ticket screen flow was lousy.  There were no helpful staffs to help you that you found during that Winter Olympic Games. 

My brother went ahead to the platform. I was with my mother taking the escalator. At the moment we just got up to the platform, a sky train staff directed us directly to a transit police officer #117.  The Officer asked for my mom’s ticket.  He didn’t say a word and he asked for my mom’s picture ID.  No friendly smiles that you missed during that Winter Olympic Games.  So she gave him. We thought that was a regular check but the officer started writing her a ticket!!!

We were totally lost and didn’t know what happened. I was asking the officer what the problem was. He didn’t reply. I asked again. He said she didn’t pay! He ignored us and continued to write the ticket. Second Officer was there. He understood that it was the first time we took the transit with those tickets.  He explained that my mother needed to validate the ticket down stairs.  He tried to help but the apparently more senior officer has already written the ticket; a ticket that will stay with your record.  It is a huge deal. It was stealing – a crime that my mother didn’t commit and had no intention to commit.  How can we “stay calm and carry on”?  Is our law’s principle is to presume guilty and has no grace? The only thing we can do is to dispute the ticket.  Yes, the tax payers pay the officer to waste the court’s money.  Love the Canadian social security? Sorry, that one physical therapy you needed had gone to process my mother’s unnecessary ticket. 

Was that Winter Olympic Games an illusion of a friendly city or was this incident just an unfortunate regret?

Business Cards

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   Mid of March, I joined a new company.  So I ordered some new business cards and updated my contacts.  The business card printing company allows us to add another language other than English to be printed on the back of the cards.  I thought that is cool.  So I picked Chinese.  It is funny that they even translated the mailing address! I wonder if anyone can mail me Christmas gifts with the translated Chinese address.

Today I met a real estate investor.  He sounds like a very smart person and loves technology.  His wife and a business partner built a super energy-efficient house.  He personally designed this house.  The house even wired with fiber optic cables to every room.  So I was curious and asked for his business card.  He gave me this impressive high quality super thick square shape business card.  Ah, an aircraft engineer!  We chatted along and automatically, I was trying to put away his card to my business card holder.  It doesn’t fit in.  So I tried to put it inside my wallet.  The card can’t fit in any of the compartments in my wallet. Embarrassed enough; I held on to the card until I got back into my car.  I hope the business card doesn’t represent his design and products – looks nice but impractical.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe business cards can be effective and fun at the same time.  But the former comes first.  Here are 10 tips in designing effective business cards.

Hello Vancouver

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Vancouver Nightlife - Nelson and Granville St.

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Time flies! I just realized that I have left B.C. for eleven years.  ELEVEN YEARS !!! This week, I am back to Vancouver for a training.  Although I came back quite often but I seldom “experience” the city as most of my time was spent with Grandma.  This is the first time I stay for more than two days after Grandma’s funeral.

These are some of my new impressions of Vancouver:

  1. Things are farther away when you are driving than when you are walking.  They probably measure distance in hours.
  2. People are super friendly! They smile, say hi, and they greet you in the morning!  When the first time a person smiled at me in the morning, I ran into the bathroom to check whether I forgot to comb my hair.
  3. British Columbians are environmental conscious and healthy – they take buses, sky trains, walk, and bike to work; rain or sun.  I was amazed to see so many people walking across the Granville bridge every morning.
  4. There are way more smokers, especially pot smokers, than I noticed before.  I wonder why.  Maybe all big cities are like that?
  5. There are way more choices of great coffee shops other than Starbucks!
  6. No plastic, cash please!
  7. There are more people using umbrellas.  Back when I was in high school, nobody knew what umbrellas looked like!
  8. They never give up hoping for that “sun breaks”.  I saw two ladies at different times put sun glasses over their heads even though it is raining.
  9. You have to adjust to various accents quickly.  In our class there are Cantonese, Mandarin, Romanian, Parisian, Scotland, Korean, Indian, Native Canadian, Polish, and French accents.  Yesterday at noon, we were having a break and everyone was on the phone (except me).  I couldn’t help laughing!
  10. People are so used to bus drivers re-mounting those electric poles to the overhead wires that they don’t get mad anymore.  I think I experienced only once in my entire life in Vancouver when I ride the bus and people were furious.

Oh, I miss the days I worked in Vancouver!

I want to make you smile as you made me

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I want to make you smile as you made me
I wish to see your thoughts through your eyes
My soul awaits your sweet commands
Why let silent take your mind?

I want to make you smile as you made me
I wish to dive into your secret world
The mountain echoes your emptiness
Why let loneliness fill your heart?

I want to make you smile as you made me
I wish to be your personal angel
My wings extend to reach your hands
Why let fear cold your feet?

By Angel Pang on March 19, 2008

Our Grandma

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In the morning
We eat and rush out for school
She does the dishes and tidy up the bedrooms
She is off to the market with a basket almost as tall as her tiny body

At the market
She is the sunshine
She is a great negotiator
She is always welcomed

Day in and day out
We enjoy her care for granted
She works hard with joyful heart
She is our grandma with unconditional love as God has shown us

Mother is very ill
We gather in our dark tiny room crying
She encourages us and asks us to pray to God
She is faithful to God with her whole heart as God has promised our salvation

At her seventy-two
We move to this western world
She continues to take care of us
She is our gardener with a grass hat planting roses, fig trees, pears, tomatoes, plums…

In this western world
She loves eating
She loves planting
She loves being with us

One blue day
We are not prepared for this
She climbs up to pick figs from the tree and falls on her shoulder
She is injured with a fracture and everything starts from that

Grandma becomes very ill
We are told that Grandma has non-small cell lung cancer
She fights confidently with the disease and her spirit is high
She is brave with God’s comfort and treasure every moment God gives her

In the morning
We lose our beloved Grandma
She lives a full life and leaves us with all her love
She is a great mother, wonderful grandmother, caring great grandmother, honest friend …

During the days without Grandma
We will always love you
We will remember your teaching
We will see you in heaven

by Angel Pang on June 22, 2011

In loving memory of the most wonderful grandma in the world who passed away on June 2, 2011 at age 93.

Everyone needs a Detox Program

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I started working from home since May. We don’t have kids and my husband is mostly working in the kitchen where I try to avoid anyway. My day becomes longer as I don’t need to drive, worry about what to wear, what am I going to bring or eat for lunch etc. So my daily routine becomes: shower, change (yes, I still get change :)), boot up my machine, make my espresso, look at my calendar, write down my goal for the day (yes, my solo scrum meeting)…boomed, it is dinner time. Yes, I sometimes forget about lunch!

Facebook, I am trying to work. - author unknown.

I am addicted !!! 

I don’t seem to have enough distractions but my day goes longer and longer. Even when I am done with my work, I continue to sit in my home office to surf net.  After I turn off my computer, I will quickly grab my phone so that I can get all the alerts that sync to my Blackberry. In the middle of a fun party, I still want to check if I have any emails in between conversations with friends.  And now, on a Saturday night 12pm, I am writing this blog.  I feel shame that this blog is so empty and I am afraid that I wasted the effort to create this blog and link it to my domain name.  I have gone so far and I have to continue. I am addicted!

We all have ADD

In this world, we have very short span of attentions. We can’t sit in a meeting for more than an hour without a break. But at the same time we flood ourselves 24×7 with useful or garbage information through YouTube, Facebook, blogs, Twitter… and keep stimulating ourselves with 24×7 entertainment through TV, Netflix, Angry Birds etc. How can we not tired? How can we not be ADD? But yet, we are not satisfied. We still want more entertainments! More apps on your iPhone, get the latest gadgets etc.

If one day, the Internet crashes, this world will stop; we cannot work because we cannot have our “normal” distractions anymore.  We cannot get on our YouTube, Facebook, blogs, Twitter, and download songs; Angry Birds are happy now; and we cannot share what we ate for lunch!

3-Days 3-Ways Detox Program

So I suggest a 3-day 3-ways Detox Program:

Stage 1: Disconnect from all Social Networks for 3 days

Stage 2: Turn off all the electronic devices at home for 3 days

Stage 3: Be able to survive in a wild camp with absolutely no electronic devices for 3 days

Don’t live in denial!  Change is a process, not an event.

A New Start

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So I created this blog…long long time ago. Today, I decided to clean it up and give it a fresh start.

I have rushed through my life and let a lot of precious moments passed by. My beloved grandmother passed away on June 2nd, 2011. She only left us some old stories, sweet memories, and lovely images. I was so eager to find her poems, her notes, and her diaries. I tried to pick up things that are important to her. Grandma lived a very private life. Though, she never hide her love and care for her grandkids.

May this blog be a place to remember my grandma.  May my life reflects her love for me.  May I have lots of interesting stores to tell when I meet grandma again in heaven.

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